Apples are in season during autumn, and there are thousands of varieties to choose from. Although they are available throughout the year, they are best from September to November.

Tip of the Week: Apples are in season


Apples are in season during autumn, and there are thousands of varieties to choose from. Although they are available throughout the year, they are best from September to November. Choose apples that are firm and have vibrant color with no bruises. The skin should be tight and smooth, and it should smell fresh, not musty.


-- CookingLight.com


Easy recipe: Penne with Pesto and Cherry Tomatoes


1 pound cherry tomatoes


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


1 teaspoon salt


8 ounces whole-wheat penne pasta


2 tablespoons pesto


Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Cut the tomatoes into halves and put them in a glass or stainless steel bowl. Add the olive oil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Toss, cover and leave at room temperature for several hours or overnight, tossing once or twice.


When you're ready to eat, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the penne and cook according to the package directions. Drain and return the hot pasta to the pan along with the tomatoes, their juice and the pesto. Toss. Season with freshly ground pepper and serve hot or at room temperature. Serves four.


-- ARA


Did You Know?


Cold water thawing is faster, but the food must be in a leak-proof package or plastic bag. The bag should be submerged in cold tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes. -- FoodSafety.gov


Food Quiz


What is the origin of the word "barbecue"?


A. From French "barbe a queue - from whiskers to tail"


B. From Taino "barabicoa - the stick stand with four legs and many sticks of wood on top to place the cooking meat"


C. From Spanish "barbacoa" - smoking meat over a slow fire


D. All are possible choices


-- funtrivia.com


Answer is at bottom of column


Wise to the Word: octopus


Its rich diet of clams and scallops gives it a highly flavorful meat that, though rubbery. As with most species, those that are younger and smaller are more tender. Smoked and canned octopus are also available. Octopus can be eaten in a variety of ways including raw, boiled and pickled, sautéed, deep fried or, for more mature specimens, simmered or boiled for several hours.


-- epicurious.com


Number to Know


380: There are 380 calories in a McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich.


 -- calorieking.com


The Dish On …


"Essential Pepin: More Than 700 All-Time Favorites from My Life in Food" by Jacques Pepin


In his more than sixty years as a chef, Jacques Pépin has earned a reputation as a champion of simplicity. His recipes are classics. They find the shortest, surest route to flavor, avoiding complicated techniques. Now, in a book that celebrates his life in food, the world’s most famous cooking teacher winnows his favorite recipes from the thousands he has created, streamlining them even further.


-- Houghton Mifflin Harcourt


From the Beer Nut’s Blog: Pumpkin beer is back


If you want a really good Oktoberfest that is easy to find, Samuel Adams Octoberfest is always a decent choice. Another popular fall seasonal is pumpkin beer. One of those is the Cambridge Brewing Company's Great Pumpkin Ale. Light and refreshing, with the taste of real pumpkins, this is one that many will enjoy.


Other fall seasonals to look out for include Sierra Nevada Tumbler (a top-five brown ale for me), the all-new Brewery Ommegang's Scythe & Sickle (a red ale brewed with barley, malt and rye), Mayflower Brewing Company's Autumn Wheat Ale and Notch BSA Harvest Ale.


To read more from the Beer Nut, visit http://blogs.wickedlocal.com/beernut/.


Food Quiz Answer


D. All are possible choices